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Questions tagged [choshen-mishpat-civil-law]

Questions about the Jewish Code of monetary and civil law.

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48 votes
7 answers
4k views

May I use my neighbor's Wi-Fi without asking permission?

My neighbor has never set up password protection on his wireless router. If I wanted, I could wirelessly connect to his high-speed Internet service. May I use his Internet service without asking him ...
N123's user avatar
  • 2,883
26 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is ad-blocker software permissible?

Kalashnikover_Rebbe at hashkafah.com asked: Isn't blocking ads stealing? The people put them on the sites for a reason. He elaborated: On one hand, the argument can be made that [forum XYZ] is ...
unforgettableidSupportsMonica's user avatar
24 votes
3 answers
517 views

The two stamp question

One man owns two of the only very expensive stamps in the world. Let us say each stamp was worth a million dollars. A second man comes along and destroys stamp one. The catch is that now according to ...
simchastorah's user avatar
  • 9,059
22 votes
2 answers
541 views

Does Jewish Law Recognize Bankruptcy?

If someone borrowed money and then declared bankruptcy, does he still have a halachic obligation to pay it back? If the lender was a corporation (bank, etc.). If the lender was a friend. Do we say ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
21 votes
4 answers
2k views

How do you handle possible Shabbat issues when receiving a jury summons?

The last time I was summoned for jury duty it was mid-week in January, and I made a point of telling the lawyers during questioning that I would have to be home before sunset on Friday. They were not ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
559 views

Can I lend out a Library Book?

I just borrowed a wonderful book from the local library (let's assume Jewish library - but does it matter?). My friend sees the book and wants to read it. My library lets me keep the book for a week, ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
17 votes
6 answers
2k views

Train ticket not collected: destroy?

Assuming a train line where single-ride tickets are normally collected or cancelled manually by train crew circulating among seated passengers, and it is physically possible to use them later if they ...
yitznewton's user avatar
  • 3,403
17 votes
2 answers
679 views

Can a book with ancient text really be copyright?

Pick up your local chumash, siddur or gemara. Open it to the front page. There it is, the dreaded ©. But to me that seems quite odd. Can the text of the actual davening or talmud really be ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
16 votes
1 answer
657 views

What Halachot apply to serving on jury duty?

Halachically, what are the responsibilities of one who is called to jury duty? What if one of the litigants is Jewish, and the halacha would find differently than civil law does in the case, are you ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
16 votes
2 answers
460 views

Insurance against משיח

According to this rather amusing blog post, there is apparently a common clause in rental contracts in Jerusalem, called the Messiah clause, in which, when a landlord outside of Israel rents out a ...
Seth J's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it permitted to take extra food from a buffet?

If you're at a hotel and there is a buffet meal, and you can take as much as you want, is there any problem taking a few extra rolls or any of the food back to your room for later? I assume if I'm not ...
Mark's user avatar
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16 votes
1 answer
335 views

How much must one do to to sign a contract?

Nowadays most software comes with a EULA. In order to install the software one must click the "agree" button. However, there are some software that says are distributed through different licenses. For ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
15 votes
2 answers
224 views

Are Jewish Court Rulings subject to appeal?

Is there such a thing as an appeal in Jewish law, or are rulings issued by Jewish courts absolutely final?
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
15 votes
3 answers
906 views

Are parents responsible if their children damage in a store?

If a parent brings a child (defined as under 13 for a boy and under 12 for a girl) into a store, and that child damages an item, is the parent responsible to pay? Would it matter if the child simply ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
15 votes
3 answers
489 views

What is the halachic status of things in outer space?

Is everything in outer space hefker? For example if a private person lands on the moon or an asteroid can he be koneh it? Do you retain the rights to something that you send into space?
user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
491 views

Intentionally using a grace period on a rental

I recently rented a bike for a few hours, and the person in charge of the rental told us that we have "X number of hours, and a 15 minute grace period," followed by the warning that if we don't return ...
MTL's user avatar
  • 19.1k
14 votes
4 answers
357 views

In the Bible, why did robbers bother tunneling into houses to rob them?

Exodus 22:1 speaks about the robber who was found "tunnelling in" to someone's house (vis-a-vis self-defense). Is that just a figure of speech, or did they actually go to that much trouble? (What ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 134k
14 votes
2 answers
271 views

Being appointed to a jury in a case between two Jews

In the U.S., a person can be appointed as a juror without volunteering for the position. If a person would find themselves appointed as a juror over a monetary dispute between two Jews, how should ...
Y     e     z's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

what are the limits of "mesira"?

It seems that most people have an idea that you cannot report a Jew to the non-Jewish authorities (police, government, etc) except for extreme circumstances (imminent danger, abuse, etc). However, ...
Desert Star's user avatar
  • 3,403
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Pirating software that has already been bought

Say, for instance, that I've previously bought a set of DVDs (for example, the workout program P90x, which contains several DVDs in a set), and that I am currently in a different country and have not ...
user11820's user avatar
  • 271
13 votes
4 answers
624 views

"Is the market-based distribution of income fair or unfair?"

This post, by a leading economist, lists the main differences on economic policy between the right and left-leaning economists. On many economic issues, Judaism does not necessarily take a clear ...
Ariel K's user avatar
  • 11k
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do you "take someone to beis din"?

Reuvain and Shimon are having a monetary dispute. Reuvain wants to take Shimon to beis din to settle the dispute, how does this work in practical terms? Does Reuvain have to tell Shimon first? Can he ...
not-allowed to change my name's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
312 views

Does a child own what he's implicitly given by his parents?

I assume that when a parent owns an object and a child uses it, it remains the property of the parent's absent any intent/declaration on the parent's part to grant it to the child (and absent an act ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
13 votes
1 answer
270 views

Why isn't maakeh in the Tur?

The chapters in Shulchan Aruch generally follows those in Tur, with a couple of exceptions here and there. One of those exceptions is that SA adds a final chapter, 427, to Choshen Mishpat discuss the ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
12 votes
2 answers
252 views

Status of Paper Money as Currency

According to this question, Maasar Sheni cannot be redeemed using paper money. That certainly seems to be the common assumption, but is that discussed anywhere? Is paper money the same as banknotes, ...
הנער הזה's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
265 views

Cell Phone Jammers in Halacha

I could not imagine cell phone jammers would be מותר, but perhaps my gut-feeling is wrong... Either way, I would be interested in knowing how they fit into halacha, and what the reasons behind ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
12 votes
1 answer
453 views

Why is the talmud concerned about judges being swayed by each other only for capital cases?

Sanhedrin 4:2 teaches that in a monetary case or one involving (im)purity, judges give their opinions starting with the most senior, while in a capital case they begin with the most junior. In the g'...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
240 views

Liability for stealing one shoe

Suppose Alice has a pair of shoes, worth $100. Bob steals one of the shoes and destroys it. Setting aside any special penalties, If Bob is caught and found liable, does he have to pay Alice back $50 ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48.2k
12 votes
2 answers
501 views

Is it halachically permissible to click on contextual ads with no intention of buying?

Contextual ads are those ads you see when you do a search on Google. The advertisers only pay if someone actually clicks on their ad. It seems "pashut" to me that clicking an ad if you know you're not ...
Shraga's user avatar
  • 2,160
12 votes
1 answer
462 views

What are the halakhic considerations when it comes to patronizing a business whose workers are on strike?

Crossing a picket line and patronizing a business whose workers are on strike, against the will of the workers, is a controversial action with some people saying it should never be done. I read an ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 24.9k
12 votes
2 answers
168 views

Liability of substitute

If someone has an appointment, and arranges for a babysitter to come to watch his/her children while he/she goes to the appointment, and the babysitter doesn't show up, so the parent misses the ...
user613's user avatar
  • 2,413
12 votes
1 answer
162 views

Can I keep the smuggled diamonds as an award?

Inspired by Diamonds in the coffee (and highly related): I've always got a kick out of the supposed story (I have not been able to confirm it's true, but it's definitely plausible): Reuven gives ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
11 votes
3 answers
793 views

Receiving Too Much Change

Do I have an obligation to give back extra change I receive? Would it matter if the store owner or person giving it to me was a Jew?
Ken's user avatar
  • 3,824
11 votes
2 answers
363 views

El Al Airfare error and Halachah

What are the Halachic implications of yesterday's El Al airfare snafu? In brief, El Al's air tickets were being sold online very cheap for a while; the price was later corrected, and El Al claimed the ...
Seth J's user avatar
  • 41.7k
11 votes
2 answers
439 views

Hitting a double-parked car

So a friend of mine showed me a Shulchan Aruch (C.M. 412:1 and 412:2) the other day (which is based on a gemara in Bava Kama). To paraphrase the relevant points of the original text: In 412:1 it says ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
11 votes
4 answers
426 views

Is there a concept in Jewish law similar to a corporation?

In modern law, a corporation, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is an "artificial person or legal entity created by or under the authority of the laws of a state or nation . . . ordinarily ...
Bruce James's user avatar
  • 16.1k
11 votes
1 answer
130 views

Who keeps the second set of sneakers?

If I appoint an agent to go purchase a pair of sneakers for me and, upon arriving at the store the agent notices they are having a two-for-one sale (which I was not aware of), when the agent buys the ...
not-allowed to change my name's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
222 views

Is Dina D'Malchusa a din in Gavra or in Cheftza?

Let's say that Reuvain owes Shimon money in American law, and Dina Demalchusa applies, does that mean: Reuvein has a halachic monetary obligation to Shimon which is as strong as any other obligation, ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
11 votes
1 answer
350 views

Is it acceptable to use software which incidentally blocks ads?

A question on this site on whether ad-blocking software is permissible suggests that the answer is that it probably, but not definitely, is acceptable. I don't use ad-blocking software myself, but I ...
TRiG's user avatar
  • 781
11 votes
1 answer
961 views

Is a check considered cash?

If one paid someone with a check, and the recipient lost the check, does the giver have to write up a new check? One can say its like cash and if he lost then its not my problem, or one can say if I ...
sam's user avatar
  • 42.2k
11 votes
1 answer
273 views

Hackintosh in Halacha

A Hackintosh is a bootlegged version of Apple's macOS loaded onto a computer that has not been manufactured by Apple and doesn't have a license to run macOS. According to Apple's macOS license, I. ...
Rafael's user avatar
  • 1,373
10 votes
3 answers
735 views

Stealing from a thief

If someone steals a previously stolen item from the thief is he guilty? Would it matter if he was stealing it only to return it to its original owner, or if the second thief was the original owner?
Ken's user avatar
  • 3,824
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Who asked Rav Moshe about capital punishment?

There is an interesting t'shuva in Igros Moshe Choshen Mishpat vol.2 #68 (pt. 1 pt. 2) in which he explains the extreme rarity of capital punishment in Jewish law, especially in modern times. It is ...
WAF's user avatar
  • 23.8k
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Black? I ordered it dyed red!

The משנה in בבא קמא‎ (9:4, as explained by the רע״ב and קהתי) says that if I give wool to a dyer to dye red, and he dyes it black instead, then he must return the black wool to me, and I must pay him ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
10 votes
1 answer
659 views

Using someone else's employee discount

Let's say my good friend Bob is an employee at Frank's Store of Stuff You'd Never Pay Full Price For. He gets an employee discount for his purchases there. Can Bob buy stuff and then sell it to me, ...
Y     e     z's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
316 views

Saving Parking Spots

Reuven calls Shimon to ask if Shimon may stand inside a parking spot and reserve it until Reuven gets there in five minutes. While standing there, Levi pulls up and directs Shimon to vacate the spot ...
Tzvi's user avatar
  • 5,723
10 votes
3 answers
204 views

Do our sources address the question of intellectual property vs the public good?

The NYTimes recently ran a piece about a malnourishment treatment that could save lives in Africa, but one company owns the recipe and controls it tightly. (See the article, I apologize if I'm not ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 134k
10 votes
1 answer
630 views

Which beis din can declare items Hefker?

There is a rule that Hefker Beis Din Hefker, that a court can declare items ownerless. What are the requirements for a Beis Din to declare items ownerless? Are there any courts nowadays with such ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
10 votes
2 answers
221 views

In Moses' time, would freeing a slave be harmful to the slave?

Exodus 21:26 is about letting a (Canaanite - Rashi) slave go free if they are injured by their owner. This appears to be a good thing, but I'm also wondering if it would be detrimental to a slave to ...
Frank Henard's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
277 views

Can a Beit Din invalidate Kiddushin nowadays?

According to DoubleAA, R' Shechter says that any three people have a right to declare items hefker through Hefker Beis Din Hefker. According to that, why doesn't an average Beis Din have a power to ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k

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